Karen Carney hat-trick helps England thrash Serbia to maintain unbeaten run

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Football News

A dominant England display saw the Lionesses extend their unbeaten run in European Championship qualifying to five games with a 7-0 win against Serbia.

A hat-trick from Karen Carney and goals from Alex Greenwood, Rachel Daly, Ellen White and Izzy Christiansen saw England secure their second highest win of the competition behind an 8-0 victory over Estonia in September.

Chelsea duo Gilly Flaherty and Fran Kirby withdrew from the squad on Thursday and manager Mark Sampson awarded a debut to 24-year-old Daly.

Serbia sat deep in their own half from the off and Greenwood opened the scoring after 16 minutes with her first goal in an England shirt since 2014 after getting on the end of Fara Williams' pass.

With the visitors offering little going forward, England continued to push up the pitch. A number of impressive saves from Susanne Nilsson kept her side in the game but just after the 30-minute mark White was tripped in the area and referee Lina Lehtovaara awarded a penalty.

Carney kept her cool to slot the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to double the lead.

Just eight minutes later England had another, with White involved again. The Notts County forward brought the ball down in the area and selflessly passed it to Daly, who smashed it into the back of the net.

The second half saw England continue to dominate. White, who was starting for her national side for the first time since September, was rewarded for her impressive display in the 51st minute when she made it 4-0 with a strong shot into the roof of the net.

Just a minute later Christiansen, who missed the two games against Belgium due to an ankle injury, scored the fifth.

Substitute Nikita Parris brought the ball down for Carney to bag her second of the afternoon on the hour mark.

Four minutes later the Chelsea forward completed her hat-trick as she made the most of a Nilsson mistake to put England seven up.

The win sees England stay second in Group 7 behind Belgium, who have played one more match than the Lionesses, but a win on Tuesday in the reverse fixture would see them go top of the table.

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